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blue bits. red rocks.

jesus dojo

When controversial issues arise in the church, it is all too easy to allow the debate to dissolve into an either-or discussion when often it should be both-and. Tongues is just one among many issues on which equally devout and equally biblical Christians of all denominational stripes disagree and likely will continue to disagree about until Jesus returns. The solution is to continue to discuss the matter with one another without denigrating those on the other side or pressing our views dogmatically. Not to put too fine an edge on it, the early church succeeded where we don’t largely because they got this right. These people were enthusiasts for Jesus Christ, not for their pet doctrines. The mark of their gatherings was transparent love, for without love of the brethren there can be no effective evangelism. If non-believers do not see in our Christian circles a more accepting and caring fellowship than they can find in the world, they are not going to be too impressed with all of our “God talk.” daveblackonline

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Jesus cared for people outcast by the powers and customs of his day. He crossed established lines to welcome and to love in practical, caring ways that transformed lives and challenged the status quo. Jesus invites us to do the same — to remember we are all God’s beloved children and to treat all people as our brothers and sisters, particularly those in need. We need to remember and live Jesus’s words, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these of these brothers [and sisters] of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40). Grace Ji-Sun Kim

You can’t victimize yourself in a situation you started in the first place. Christians, in general, have a hard time remembering that as we choose to oppress, due to our sincerely held religious beliefs, yet cry “discrimination” when we feel a push back. This is especially true when those people are queer. Within the Christian community, there are those who believe we are being discriminated against. However, no one is pushing legislation that excludes Christians from basic legal rights in the U.S. (such as job protection and marriage.) Nor is anyone physically assaulting Christians due to their religious beliefs or advocacy. Christians are not facing actual tribulations, rather, the “discrimination” they cry comes from not being allowed to discriminate others. It’s a double standard and they keep crying wolf. Or we, I should say, since, like many other LGBT people, I am also a Christian. The Myth of Christian Discrimination in the LGBT Rights Movement

…it is safe to say Jesus saved his most outward displays of anger for the self-righteous. The Pharisees and Sadducees knew the law and boasted of sinless perfection. They dubbed themselves the celestial scorekeepers here on earth. Jesus called them blind guides. Fools. Hypocrites. A brood of vipers. Whitewashed graves. Clean on the outside but dead within. A Handy Guide To Christian Outrage

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When it comes to issues so central to the Christian life, faithfulness requires thoughtful dialogue, tenacious endurance, and meaningful change from the bottom up. In arguing back and forth about how best to live faithfully as Christians in our culture, we have all fallen prey to the most daunting of predators: the Tyrant of Time. Technology has created an illusion that we can accomplish things better and faster than ever before. Indeed, advancements in technology afford us the hope of dreams to deliver rescue for the oppressed, to sound the voices of freedom, and to end poverty. But technological infrastructure cannot hurry a mind who ponders, rush a weary soul journeying through disenchantment, nor hasten hearts wrestling with slow movements of the Spirit. The deepest, most precious parts of our humanity were created to move within certain rhythmic parameters, and they are being crushed by the high speed of social media sound bytes. Listen to the Silence: Thoughts on World Vision and the Pitfalls of Modern Communcation

The day in which apologetic flourishes is the day of orthodoxy in discredit; an age full of people talked out of a faith in which they were reared… . Where the erosion of orthodoxy has gone beyond a certain point, other champions and different arms are called for. There can be no question of offering defenses to positions which are simply unoccupied; or justifying ideas of which the senses never dawned on the mind. Austin Farrer

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If our only response is to speak the truth in love to the exclusion of the hundreds and hundreds of verses that call us toward mercy, peace, kindness, hospitality, and patience while leaving judgment to God, the only One able to judge fairly and correctly (James 4: 11-12), consequently also the only One who transforms and sanctifies, then I insist that you exercise that practice with every single sinner in your life. Every single one. Every single sin. Otherwise that obedience has no integrity. Every. Single. Sin. I want it called out in truth and love, I want it blogged about, I want it argued into legislation, I want it discussed in public forums outside of genuine relationships, I want articles, I want excommunications. I would respect a believer who calls out every sinner and sin around him in equal measure over one who selectively applies Scripture to certain categories. (I would not like that believer, but I would at least respect his consistency.) Jen Hatmaker

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I was passionate about encouraging Christians to live a Jesus-oriented life on the job. That passion collided with Hannity’s rhetoric of certainty, and that collision changed the way I heard his show. Instead of strident confidence, I heard smug condescension. Instead of rational analysis, I heard rationalized assumption. Instead of careful consideration of ideas, I heard contempt. Hannity’s laser-like focus on his own rightness smelled a little too much like self-righteousness, and it made me uncomfortable. Why? Because I was doing the same thing, but not just with my politics. I was doing it with my faith. Reading the Bible Through Sean Hannity’s Eyes

Because this is a Christian radio station, that’s supposed to be playing religious music. What does it mean when, jammed in between songs about Amazing Grace and Jesus, Friend of Sinners, we get a song glorifying the American flag and the nation it represents? It’s not even a patriotic song about God blessing America, it’s a song praising how the flag proudly waves “o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” That’s idolatry. I don’t know what else I can call it. We have set up a nice little golden calf, except instead of a calf it’s a sheet and instead of golden it’s red, white, and blue. Theological Ramblings: Christian Radio and the Star Spangled Banner

In the end, however, World Vision’s waffling is still a victory. It shows that there were many people within the organization that wanted the exclusionary policy against LGBT people changed. Yes, they reversed. But the sin of homophobia is pernicious. We have to expect some backsliding. But justice and love and the full inclusion and dignity of LGBT people will prevail in the end. World Vision’s (Failed) Attempt at Justice for Gay Christians

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